Barrera, Alton connect for Central
E.J. Barrera threw four touchdown passes and wide receiver Darrion Alton caught three of them Friday night for the Central High School football team, which held off a fourth-quarter comeback attempt from Gateway in a 27-14 victory in Aurora.
Barrera threw scoring passes of 26, 17, 25 and 20 yards, with his 25-yard strike to Jeremy Buniger giving the Warriors (2-1) a 20-0 halftime lead. Alton’s final touchdown catch of the game, the 20-yard score, came with about two minutes remaining, not long after the Olympians (1-1) had pulled to within 20-14 with 5:44 left to play.
“That was an unbelievable throw,” Central coach Shawn Marsh said. “It came at such a key time for us, too. Darrion made a perfect catch on a perfect throw.”
Palisade 15, Montrose 13: Isaac Maestas had a 6-yard touchdown run and kicked a 35-yard field goal for shorthanded Palisade, which held on after the Indians had pulled within two points with less than one minute remaining.
After a Montrose touchdown run with 57 seconds left pulled the Indians (1-2) within two points, Palisade’s Danny McClain knocked down the two-point conversion pass attempt.
The Bulldogs recovered the ensuing onside kick, and Maestas sealed the win with his first-down run on the Bulldogs’ final possession.
Palisade was without quarterback P.D. Riddle, who coach Joe Ramunno said was out with an illness. Splitting time in his place was Christian Riddle and Cameron Tucker, with Christian Riddle throwing a 50-yard TD pass to Austin Bernal in the first quarter.
Delta 50, Moffat County 13: Damon Jensen scored on touchdown runs of 3, 62 and 4 yards and Kole Roberts threw two touchdown passes as the Panthers (1-1) rolled past the Bulldogs in Craig.
Florence 35, Rifle 26: Drake Montgomery had a pair of touchdown runs for the Bears (2-1), but the Huskies (1-1) took advantage of Rifle’s early turnovers and led 35-13 by the end of the third quarter.
Cedaredge 42, Aspen 8: Brandon O’Hern had two touchdown runs and Pedro Madaleno threw for two scores to help the Bruins (2-0) start the running clock by the third quarter.
Jed Wilson ran a strong race to finish third at the Tiger Invitational.
The Grand Junction senior ran near the front the entire race to finish in a time of 17 minutes, 11.6 seconds.
Running on the flat Canyon View Park course, runners went from a slower surface of grass to faster dirt path and concrete sidewalk surfaces throughout the 5-kilometer race.
Gunnison freshman Colton Stice won the race in a time of 16:59.4. Arturo Toro of Greeley Central was second in 17:05.2.
Fruita Monument senior Spencer Miller was sixth in 17:33.1. Nicholas Duncan and Aaron King finished seventh and eighth for Grand Junction with times of 17:38.0 and 17:40.9, respectively. Jared McClain was Central’s best finisher in 21st in 18:43.2.
Wilson, who paced the Tigers to a second-place team finish, said he was pleased with his race.
“I ran hard from the beginning, kept my pace, it was a good strategy,” he said. “It’s my last meet here at Canyon View and it’s probably the best one I’ve ever ran here.”
A freshman also won the girls race with Eagle Valley’s Joslin Bair winning in 19:14.0.
Her sophomore teammate, Avery Doan, was second at 20:11.5. Denisse Ojeda of Greeley Central was third at 20:46.6.
Makayla Moran of Grand Junction was 15th with a time of 22:43.2. Central’s Karla De La Cruz was 22nd at 23:50.6, and Kylee Quenberg was 25th for Fruita Monument at 24:05.0.
Alexandra MacAskill had nine kills and four service aces and Christa Brown added five kills as Palisade earned a 25-10, 25-14, 25-21 home sweep of Battle Mountain in the Class 4A Western Slope League opener for both teams.
Gracey Higman had 15 assists, Abby Thiessen had 11 digs and a pair of blocks for the Bulldogs (2-4, 1-0 WSL), who continue league play next Tuesday at home against Rifle.
De Beque 3, Ouray 0: The Dragons (2-2) swept the Trojans at home, 25-8, 25-22, 25-22 to win their second consecutive match.